Guitarist Marc Intravaia’s résumé dates back to the Stones’ age, when KGB-FM radio seemed to be the heart and soul of all things rock ’n’ roll: sky shows, the Homegrown Hour, Gabriel Wisdom, Jim McInnes, the KGB Chicken, the dancing janitor commercials...
“Back in the ’70s,” says Intravaia, “I was in a band called Listen, and we were on some of the Homegrown albums. In ’75 and ’76, or so, we did KGB’s musical logos and played music for their commercials.... I was the guitarist you heard when they played ‘KGB San Diego’ at the top of every show. KGB used to put on free concerts at what is now called Starlight Bowl, but then it was Balboa Bowl. Listen did a few of those [shows].” Intravaia’s guitar also anchored local one-hit-wonders the Monroes, albeit after their brief taste of fame with the 1982 new-wave hit “What Do All the People Know?” before he went on to play with Kenny Loggins, Kim Carnes, America, Suzy Bogguss, and B.J. Thomas.
Since 1991, the Kearny High School grad has been writing, recording, and performing with the Eve Selis Band, with whom he’s currently on a UK tour. They’ll return to Europe in September and October for a tour of England, Ireland, and France, and the newest ESB full-length, Family Tree, is nominated Best Americana or Country Album at this year’s San Diego Music Awards. “I’d classify us more Americana than country,” says Intravaia, “with a mix of country, rock, blues, and folk — with lots of slide guitar.”
Along with his wife Paula, Intravaia teaches music at the Sanctuary Art and Music Studio in Carmel Valley. They just celebrated their 13th anniversary. “Paula and I drove out to Vegas with three kids in the backseat and got married at a drive-through wedding chapel.”
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
Johnny Cash, American Recordings. “Great songs, with stripped-down production by Rick Rubin.”
Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler, All the Roadrunning. “A brilliant pairing.”
Taj Mahal, Take a Giant Step: The Best of Taj Mahal. “Jesse Ed Davis’s guitar-playing on this is subtle and superb, combining blues with country twang.”
Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. “His tone and phrasing are what all blues-rock guitarists aspire to.”
Rodney Crowell, The Houston Kid. “A concept album, and every song is great.”
ANYTHING YOU WERE EMBARRASSED TO MENTION?
“Sebastian Cabot’s rendition of Bob Dylan’s ‘It Ain’t Me, Babe.’ I take evil delight in this version, but I have to lock myself away and listen very quietly, so the neighbors don’t call the police.”
LOCAL MUSIC THAT MOVES YOU?
“‘My Name Is Sam,’ by Berkley Hart. It’s a song about appreciating our time together, however short. With the loss of my dad last year, it really hits home with lines like ‘Those few minutes when he’s all mine, are the best few minutes of my whole day.’ I get choked up every time I hear it, and I’ve seen the toughest of guys cry like babies at shows when Berkley and Hart sing this.”
I UNDERSTAND A GUITAR ONCE SAVED YOUR LIFE?
“In 1970, I was riding with friends in a pickup truck and was in the middle seat when a drunk driver hit us from behind. I was holding my acoustic guitar between my knees, and the guitar was demolished, but the truss rod in the neck of the guitar kept me from going through the windshield. I was lucky and only suffered a minor whiplash, and I kept the guitar on my wall for years.”
FAVORITE FREE HANGOUT?
“Free Tuesdays at Balboa Park. Perfect place to take my home-schooled son, Sam.”
BEST LOCAL CONCERT?
“I saw Jimi Hendrix in 1969 at the Sports Arena. I had seen him the year before, when he gave a flat performance at Balboa Stadium, and I had to be talked into seeing him again. From the moment he stepped onstage, he was on fire and inspired. A few of the songs ended up on the live album Hendrix in the West.”
SOMETHING YOU NEVER RUN OUT OF?
“Stone Brewery beer.”
WHAT REMAINS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
“Jam with Eric Clapton. Hey, it could happen. We played a show with former Clapton guitarist Albert Lee last year. Six degrees of separation.”
WHO DO PEOPLE SAY YOU LOOK LIKE?
“I’ve heard for years that I resemble Don Henley and was even stopped on the street in L.A. in the early 1990s by someone who was overjoyed to meet me. He looked so dejected when I said I wasn’t him.”
EVER BEEN ROBBED?
“The Eve Selis Band had about 500 pounds [UK cash] stolen from CD sales after a show in England. We thought we knew who did it but couldn’t prove it, so our bass player cast an evil spell on the culprit involving pimples and shrinkage.”
“I bought a 1961 Gibson ES-335 in 1970 for $225 and sold it for $250 a few years later. That guitar would be worth thousands of dollars now.”
WHAT SCARES YOU?
“Hurting my fingers. I needed stitches on my middle finger in 1983 and was out of work for two weeks.”
SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
“I have lots of Mafia history on the Sicilian side of my family. Fuggetaboutit!” ■